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To the Reader

Christian Reader,

While the generality of men, especially in these days, by their eager pursuit after low and base interests, have proclaimed, as upon the house tops, how much they have forgotten to make choice of that better part, which, if chosen, should never be taken from them; I have made an essay, such as it is, in the following Treatise, to take thee off from this unprofitable, though painful pursuit, by proposing the chiefest of interest, even the Christian's Great Interest, to be seriously pondered and constantly pursued by thee. Thou mayst think it strange to see anything in print from my pen, as it is indeed a surprise to myself; but necessity has made me, for this once, to offer so much violence to my own inclination, in regard that some, without my knowledge, have lately published some imperfect note of a few of my sermons, most confusedly cast together, prefixing withal this vain title, as displeasing to myself as the publishing of the thing, 'A Clear Attractive Warming Beam,' &c. Upon this occasion was I prevailed with to publish this late piece, wherein I have purposely used a homely and plain style, lest otherwise-- though, when I have stretched myself to the utmost, I am below the judicious and more understanding--I should be above the reach of the rude and ignorant, whose advantage I have mainly, if not only, consulted. I have, likewise, studied brevity in everything, so far as I conceived it to be consistent with plainness and perspicuity; knowing that the persons to whom I address myself herein, have neither much money to spend upon books, nor much time to spare in reading. If thou be a rigid critic, I know thou mayst meet with several things to carp at; yet assure thyself, that I had no design to offend thee, neither will thy simple approbation satisfy me. It is thy edification I intend, together with the incitements of some others, more expert and experienced in this excellent subject, to handle the same to greater length, which I have more briefly hinted at,-- who am thy servant in the work of the gospel, William Guthrie

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